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My wife and I married at the age of 20 and that was 35 years ago. The best description I can give of the 35 years is Rollercoaster. We have both been faithful so thankfully never had those problems. From the time our first child was 3 or 4 up until 10 years ago she had a tough time with depression and was later diagnosed as Bipolar. Anyone who has a family member with mental illness knows the problems you face. Most will take medication and get to feeling better only to later decide they don't need to take the medication any longer. Then they return to where they started.
We went through this for years and in 2009 she became almost impossible to live with. I tried to get her to go back to her doctor or counselor but according to her she didn't need to. After numerous attempts to get her to sit down with me to talk about our marriage I moved out and filed for divorce. To make a long story short she wouldn't sign and our attorneys were keeping the bills coming to both of us. She went to the doctor and counselor and just talking to her on the phone the very few times I would answer I could tell she was a different person that the person I left. I guess you could say we dated (LOL) for about a month and after a total of 6 months I moved back in at home.
Since moving back in 2011 she hasn't had a single episode even though she did as always and roughly 5 years ago came off her medication without telling me nor either of our now grown children.

From 2011 until 2018 we had the best years of our marriage. We very rarely argued, we enjoyed doing things and going places together again and the sex was amazing, Now this is where it gets confusing for me, One night after sex she makes the announcement to me that many things we had done in the past during foreplay such as me giving her oral and her using one of her toys were no longer going to be a part of our sex life, All of a sudden she says she never cared for oral anyway but went along with it for me. She had some excuse about the toys too but I don't remember what it was. I told her I knew better than both of those stories because of the many times she had ask for one of the two. When nothing else would get her going oral always worked.
Since that time it seems that I have been less and less important to her. We are to the point now that we are just living under the same roof as friends.

We have a vacation condo on the beach and I had been telling her she should invite a friend and go for a long weekend. She put it off and put it off and I finally reminded her at the right time and she set up a trip. In fact she is there now. Her and her best girl friend left Wed night and we always come home on Sunday so I just took it that she would be home today. The night before they were to leave she tells me that they had planned to stay until Monday. This would be very different any week of the year but to make this one ever stranger I'm scheduled to have surgery Tuesday morning. Its nothing serious or at least they don't think it is but won't know until they do the surgery. It could be really serious but again in their opinion it will be fine. After learning of their new plan I simply said I really wish you would come home Sunday so I don't just sit around bored dreading the surgery. She then says I guess I could talk to her and see if it matters because she has changed her work schedule for Monday already. I followed up with that would be great because I really, really want you here. Her reply to me this time was You are being ridiculous.

If they could anyone that knows us even our kids would tell you I rarely ask anything like this of her. They were staying 4 nights as it was so figured it wouldn't be an issue. A couple of things really bother me about the entire situation . First I feel like once again she had put someone else ahead of what I want but the biggest thing is there is zero doubt what I would do if the roles were reversed. If I even went I would have been home today without her ever saying a word. I would want to be here for her no matter what my friend thought. To me its just another wakeup call telling me how important I am to her.

Am I looking at this completely wrong or does anyone else see why I have a problem with this choice.

Thanks in advance
 

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I was in a miserable more than 25 year marriage, BUT I'd always thought he would be there for me in time of serious need or illness---wrong. Won't go into detail, but that was the beginning of the end. Times like this are important. I woke up, stopped making excuses for him, realized that my health could be at risk. Kids had been begging me to leave.

I'm not saying you should divorce, but that you need a current assessment of whether or not you have a marriage. Living with someone with bipolar illness is so difficult--you know what is going to happen next after a while. Perhaps she is 'paying you back' for insisting she take a beach vacation...

I lived my life alone--even though married--no one to help with things where spouses usually support one. Made my life much easier after divorce as I'd figured how to take care of myself. It is Sunday night, what is your plan?
 

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Your wife sounds very manipulative and selfish, and you're right, you are not important to her. You shouldn't be wondering if you're asking too much or completely wrong... You should be wondering why you're willing to stay in a marriage like this for so long and be her doormat.

Being married to someone with a mental illness doesn't mean you have to accept everything they do under the excuse of "that's how (some) people with mental illnesses act". Yeah, many people with mental illness (and bipolar is one that's more common for doing this) will go off and on their medications. You don't have to accept that in your marriage though. You are allowed to say if she is unwilling to treat her illness, then you are unwilling to be in this marriage.

When you filed for divorce and she refused to sign the papers, she got exactly what she wanted. You let her manipulate the situation, then you went back to her for more.

As for this:
One night after sex she makes the announcement to me that many things we had done in the past during foreplay such as me giving her oral and her using one of her toys were no longer going to be a part of our sex life
That's not how marriage works! She should be discussing that with you, not flat out telling you that those things are no longer a part of your marriage, end of story. You said you're now living like roommates so I assume you are not having any forms of physical intimacy. She wasn't saying "we're just no longer going to do oral or toys", she was working her way up to "I no longer want to have sex with you".

How would she feel if you decided to sell the vacation house without telling her? Then she says "Hey hon I'm going to go to the vacation house for the weekend" and your response is "Oh, sorry, I sold it". It's just as bad! You don't just make unilateral decisions like that in a marriage.

As for the weekend getaway, I understand why you feel the way you do but I'm not seeing it the same way you are. You shouldn't have assumed when she would be home, that should have been talked about in advance even if she always goes during certain days. If her friend planned to be there Monday and booked time off work, then it's not really fair to change those plans. It's not like your surgery is on Monday, it's on Tuesday and she will be home for that. You shouldn't be so reliant on your wife that you need her around to keep you from being bored or going down the rabbit hole.
 

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A couple stories I've told a hundred times, but there's no reason to expect you have read them, so here I go (mainly because of some of advice you've been given).

I only ever had one boyfriend that wanted to incorporate a toy into our sessions. I did it a couple times and then told him no more. That is a unilateral decision that most certainly is entirely up to me. Nobody has any obligation whatsoever to allow another person to do things or use things they don't like or are uncomfortable with. Whatever her reasons, she didn't want the toys anymore. That is a unilateral decision that is entirely up to her.

I married young and from my first husband and on with various boyfriends after marriage, we engaged in oral sex. I didn't enjoy it and never knew what the point was supposed to be, but I allowed them anyway. It was foreplay and just part of our sessions I supposed, so I didn't object. I could tell it did serve to somewhat get my motor going but as far as the act itself, I was usually rather bored because it was not particularly pleasurable and with one or two boyfriends, it was downright annoying.....until it wasn't. A new boyfriend knew how to do it properly. I wasn't even aware of there being a proper technique. Nor had I any idea how pleasurable it could be until he blew my mind.

I'm not trying to say you are not good at oral sex. Obviously, I wouldn't have any idea. I'm only saying that lots of guys do it but are not accomplishing much and may even do things during the act that the woman doesn't find pleasurable at all. Had I stayed married to my first husband, I probably would have put a stop to oral sex at some point, and that would have been entirely up to me. Guys want sex and may be very generous lovers but at the same time, they can't really know what it's like for the woman because we women have a tendency not to speak of those kinds of things. And in such cases as I was during my early years, women don't even know what to say. We just take sex as it is and think that's what it's all about because it's what we have or have ever known. But when we don't want oral sex anymore or don't want intercourse, the man doesn't know why. I know it seems incredibly unfair, but that's the nature of things. Guys here always say women should talk about what they like and while that may be true, it doesn't help making those kinds of statements because they can't tell every woman in the world who is like that, and they can't change every woman's nature. So there's that.

What I do agree with is that no one party in a marital relationship should dictate the bedroom. Each person has every right to control or object to what is done to them, but for her to altogether refuse to have sex ever again is just wrong....except that there are meds involved. It surprised me that you and she enjoyed a good sex life while she was on her meds because most of those types of medications (and oftentimes birth control pills too) usually have a negative affect on people's libido and many, if not most, don't want sex at all. So, it's possible that's what ended up happening even though it didn't initially. Perhaps she was given a different medication at some point. I read somewhere that Wellbutrin doesn't cause changes in libido. I wouldn't know if she can take Wellbutrin, but you could ask her to speak with her doctor about it.

Other than that, have you ever asked why she doesn't want sex anymore? Have you ever expressed that it's wrong for you to be sentenced to life without sex ever again? Have you ever considered a sex therapist?

Regarding your surgery, it seems you're a little worried and maybe she doesn't realize that. But I do think she should have come home on Sunday just because you asked since asking should have been her hint that you are quite concerned. I also think it may have helped if you came right out and told her that, but you didn't. You only said you'd be bored and dreading the surgery, which is normal.

First I feel like once again she had put someone else ahead of what I want
You didn't give us any reference to that, so I don't know what you mean or if she has often placed the needs or desires of others before yours. I can say that you can't expect others to think and feel the same as you. You don't know what someone will do until they do it. You don't know how they are until they show you. I can tell you that if you don't demand respect, you won't get any. And I can tell you that if you don't tell a person what you need, you can't expect them to automatically know.

And finally, if you spend years allowing your spouse such a thing as never having sex with you again, you're not demanding respect and you're not telling her what you need. Each day you stay with her without finding out her reasons and trying to fix it, gives her permission to be inconsiderate and take you for granted.
 

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My wife and I married at the age of 20 and that was 35 years ago. ......she had a tough time with depression and was later diagnosed as Bipolar.

....After numerous attempts to get her to sit down with me to talk about our marriage I moved out and filed for divorce. To make a long story short she wouldn't sign and our attorneys were keeping the bills coming to both of us. She went to the doctor and counselor and just talking to her on the phone the very few times I would answer I could tell she was a different person that the person I left. I guess you could say we dated (LOL) for about a month and after a total of 6 months I moved back in at home.

.......From 2011 until 2018 we had the best years of our marriage. We very rarely argued, we enjoyed doing things and going places together again and the sex was amazing,

.....One night after sex she makes the announcement to me that many things we had done in the past during foreplay such as me giving her oral and her using one of her toys were no longer going to be a part of our sex life,

......Since that time it seems that I have been less and less important to her. We are to the point now that we are just living under the same roof as friends.

We have a vacation condo on the beach and I had been telling her she should invite a friend and go for a long weekend. She put it off and put it off and I finally reminded her at the right time and she set up a trip. In fact she is there now. Her and her best girl friend

.....This would be very different any week of the year but to make this one ever stranger I'm scheduled to have surgery Tuesday morning. ,,,,,I simply said I really wish you would come home Sunday so I don't just sit around bored dreading the surgery. .........followed up with that would be great because I really, really want you here. Her reply to me this time was You are being ridiculous.

....To me its just another wakeup call telling me how important I am to her.
A few thoughts. There are a number of relationship experts who feel that many look to their partner for validation and happiness. I think that you are looking for your wife to "complete you" and make you feel worthwhile. Unfortunately, that is really your job. You need to start doing things for you that make you feel good about yourself and your accomplishments. MW Davis (Sex Starved Marriage) and Glover (No More Mr. Nice Guy) would tell you to Get a Life, which is code words for becoming a better more integrated "you." Don't be mean or rude toward your wife, but be good to yourself.

When you "dated" the new woman who came out of therapy and you moved back in with her, how did you end the divorce proceedings? Did you just let things "drop" and gas lighted the whole thing? Did you set firm boundaries with her on what you anticipated from her as to how you should be treated if your marriage was to continue? Or did you assume that everything would be different and you didn't need to state your requirements for returning? You really should have negotiated what would be acceptable and what would not be acceptable.

Something really changed the night she decided to change your sex life. She has the right to not do things that bother her. In a serious relationship you would both discuss what changed, you don't ignore such a sudden change. That was a huge red flag and might have offered you clues into what really was changing in your wife's mind. Talking does not equal fighting. You lost a great opportunity to discuss why she wanted to change your relationship.

The next thing that jumps out is that you put pressure on your wife to get to the condo for quite a while. After 35 years of marriage your spouse knows what you are thinking from body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, etc. She knew you wanted her "gone," so she arranged for it. You said it was for "her," but she may have percieved it differently. Now that you want her back, she may not be processing things the way you would. She may still be angry about you pushing her away and has decided to show you that you should not have pushed her away. Then again, she could be clueless.

Rather than you playing the victim and worrying about your surgery, watch some internet movies, listen to some music, go exercise mildly. Again, you need to Get a Life and not mope around expecting her to make you feel better.

For whatever reason, she sounds like she is putting emotional space between the two of you. When you filed divorce papers she may have been hurt in ways you can't imagine. She may be keeping emotional distance so that should you file for divorce again, she won't be as invested in the marriage. Similarly, her lack of sex and changing sex so that she is not as aroused by sex may also be a way to establish emotional distance in case the two of you divorce in the future. In fact her actions my either be subconscious or mental illness attempts to sabatoge your marriage so you will end it and she can blame you and claim victimhood for herself.

I think that the two of you need some intense professional marriage counseling to get to the bottom of what is going on. If you do, make sure that part of your goals with the marriage counselor is what the "boundaries" you both need to agree to for a healthy marriage and what that marriage will look like on your 40th & 50th wedding aniversaries.

Good luck.
 

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My wife and I married at the age of 20 and that was 35 years ago. The best description I can give of the 35 years is Rollercoaster. We have both been faithful so thankfully never had those problems. From the time our first child was 3 or 4 up until 10 years ago she had a tough time with depression and was later diagnosed as Bipolar. Anyone who has a family member with mental illness knows the problems you face. Most will take medication and get to feeling better only to later decide they don't need to take the medication any longer. Then they return to where they started.
We went through this for years and in 2009 she became almost impossible to live with. I tried to get her to go back to her doctor or counselor but according to her she didn't need to. After numerous attempts to get her to sit down with me to talk about our marriage I moved out and filed for divorce. To make a long story short she wouldn't sign and our attorneys were keeping the bills coming to both of us. She went to the doctor and counselor and just talking to her on the phone the very few times I would answer I could tell she was a different person that the person I left. I guess you could say we dated (LOL) for about a month and after a total of 6 months I moved back in at home.
Since moving back in 2011 she hasn't had a single episode even though she did as always and roughly 5 years ago came off her medication without telling me nor either of our now grown children.

From 2011 until 2018 we had the best years of our marriage. We very rarely argued, we enjoyed doing things and going places together again and the sex was amazing, Now this is where it gets confusing for me, One night after sex she makes the announcement to me that many things we had done in the past during foreplay such as me giving her oral and her using one of her toys were no longer going to be a part of our sex life, All of a sudden she says she never cared for oral anyway but went along with it for me. She had some excuse about the toys too but I don't remember what it was. I told her I knew better than both of those stories because of the many times she had ask for one of the two. When nothing else would get her going oral always worked.
Since that time it seems that I have been less and less important to her. We are to the point now that we are just living under the same roof as friends.

We have a vacation condo on the beach and I had been telling her she should invite a friend and go for a long weekend. She put it off and put it off and I finally reminded her at the right time and she set up a trip. In fact she is there now. Her and her best girl friend left Wed night and we always come home on Sunday so I just took it that she would be home today. The night before they were to leave she tells me that they had planned to stay until Monday. This would be very different any week of the year but to make this one ever stranger I'm scheduled to have surgery Tuesday morning. Its nothing serious or at least they don't think it is but won't know until they do the surgery. It could be really serious but again in their opinion it will be fine. After learning of their new plan I simply said I really wish you would come home Sunday so I don't just sit around bored dreading the surgery. She then says I guess I could talk to her and see if it matters because she has changed her work schedule for Monday already. I followed up with that would be great because I really, really want you here. Her reply to me this time was You are being ridiculous.

If they could anyone that knows us even our kids would tell you I rarely ask anything like this of her. They were staying 4 nights as it was so figured it wouldn't be an issue. A couple of things really bother me about the entire situation . First I feel like once again she had put someone else ahead of what I want but the biggest thing is there is zero doubt what I would do if the roles were reversed. If I even went I would have been home today without her ever saying a word. I would want to be here for her no matter what my friend thought. To me its just another wakeup call telling me how important I am to her.

Am I looking at this completely wrong or does anyone else see why I have a problem with this choice.

Thanks in advance
I'm sorry I don't understand posts like this.

To summarize your situation. You have been married 35 years, 9 of which were good. You already tried to divorce once. She doesn't really care you are having surgery, you told her you wanted her to be there and she called you ridiculous.

What do you think anyone on a message board can tell you that your own experience hasn't.

I will tell you, the cavalry isn't coming. It's not going to get better. This is who you married. She is 55 years old she is never changing. You have two choices, except it or leave.

Also don't discount cheating. I can point to a bunch of stories where dead bedrooms were because of cheating.

If you don't want to divorce at least detach and treat her like the friend she is. Give her the importance in your life that she gives you.
 

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Personally, you sound way too whiny and dramatic about "needing" her to be home on Sunday just because you'll be "bored" waiting around for surgery. What are you, 12 years old?

Why on earth you've clung to a dead marriage for so long is a mystery. Then again, most men WILL do that because a lot of them are too afraid of being on their own. Hell, you can't even do an extra DAY alone while she's away. I rest my case.

You've chosen to stay in a crappy marriage. Why are you expecting more than what one GETS in a crappy marriage? That's like getting into a Ford Pinto and expecting it to run like a Mercedes.

You asked for our opinions and that's mine.
 

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... To make a long story short she wouldn't sign and our attorneys were keeping the bills coming to both of us. ...
She refused to sign the divorce papers, so you just shrugged your shoulders and stayed married for another 11 years?

I don't see how you could allow that to occur, and not push for a final resolution there. I also doubt that a party can force another to stay married agains their will just by refusing to sign (I've heard of that happening in religious ceremonies inside certain religious sects, but not in the civil sense); a judge can do something about that.

Honestly, she sounds like a manipulative person & you sound co-dependent.
 

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I think a little of it depends on how truly serious this surgery is. You say it's not, but we all have different ideas of "seriousness". We are set to go on a family vacation in a couple of weeks, just a long weekend - Friday to Monday. I expressed interest to my husband about staying a bit longer. I have been working from home since March and rarely leave the house, so a couple of extra days relaxing sounds glorious. He told me to stay a few extra days with my college aged daughter. Was very agreeable to it and urged me to do it. I looked into changing our flights and Airbnb stay and when I went to circle back with him to make sure he was ok with it before I changed everything for my daughter and I, he mentioned he'd just have his mom take him to the hospital that Wednesday for his surgery. I had completely forgotten he was going to have surgery that day because they've thrown around so many dates trying to get him in before the holidays. Once I found that out, I told him there would be no way I wouldn't be here for his surgery. Even though his surgery is minimally invasive and not "serious". Instead, I am going a couple of days earlier than the rest of the family with my youngest daughter. However, he would've been completely fine with me coming home the day before the surgery, rather than 2 days before like everyone else.

Your wife may very well be needing some of her own time due to stress and wants to get an extra day of that. If she'll be home in time for your surgery, she's probably not thinking anything of it. I wouldn't. Especially if it was a minimal surgery. Major surgery is a different story.
 

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There are more considerations than just the patient in any surgery one has to go under anesthesia, recover.

In the unlikely event something goes awry from anesthesia or surgery there are decisions to be made, some where immediate attention is necessary.

Not just to care for the patient but to keep family members informed, legal decisions, etc.

Unlikely, yes, impossible, no.

A spouse not engaged enough to play on the first string, should then be prepared to be treated as a second stringer.

A team member who makes it plain they choose not to accept responsibilities should not be surprised when relegated to the audience.
 
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